Have you ever experienced blinding sunlight while behind the wheel? With the sun shining in your eyes, you struggle to see the roadway, sidewalks, or traffic lights, increasing your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. You lower your sun visor to prevent the sunlight from impairing your vision, but this is an imperfect solution because the sun visor also blocks your visibility.
Thanks to Bosch, there is now an innovative solution on the horizon to solve this glaring problem.
Bosch’s virtual visor
Bosch’s Virtual Visor concept was named Best Innovation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 Innovation Awards held in Las Vegas earlier this year. Bosch’s concept sun visor promises to eliminate sun glare for drivers and sharply reduce auto accidents in cases where reduced visibility from sun glare poses a significant risk.
Truck driver using Bosch's new sun visor concept.
Designed to help prevent traffic accidents.
Bosch’s reimagined sun visor blocks glare, but not the view of the road. The visor has been imagined as a see-through LCD panel facing the driver. Cameras in the device, powered by artificial intelligence and face-tracking software, shade the driver’s eyes with pinpoint accuracy, reducing sun glare while maintaining maximum visibility, an impossible task with traditional visors.
Technological advancements like this one could have a significant impact on driving safety worldwide.
How sun glare affects driving
According to WHO data, car crashes are the ninth leading cause of death or disability worldwide, and if trends continue, they are anticipated to rise to the seventh-largest cause of death by 2030.
According to an observational study published in the January 2017 edition of Medicine, the risk of a life-threatening crash is 16% higher during periods of bright sunlight. The study indicated that bright sunlight created “visual illusions” that led to drivers making mistakes when judging size, position, and motion. Of particular concern was distance.
Because bright sunlight increases the “contrast, resolution, and luminosity of surrounding landscapes,” distant terrain can appear closer than it actually is. Additionally, a car’s speed may appear slower to a driver blinded by bright sunlight, leading to a mistaken impression that they should compensate by accelerating faster.
Staying vigilant in the sunshine
As winter winds down, and we enter Spring across Atlantic Canada, the sun will remain in the sky longer each day. This will lead to drivers experiencing more temporary sun-blindness as a result of sun glare, particularly during the most dangerous times of day: dawn and dusk.
At MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law, we see the devastating effects that car accidents have on the injured and their families every day. Sun glare causes thousands of car accidents each year, almost twice as much as any other weather-related condition. Until innovations like Bosch’s concept sun visor become a reality, drivers and pedestrians should remain extra vigilant during dawn and dusk when the sun is low in the sky. Being educated about the risks associated with sun glare may help prevent a life-threatening motor vehicle crash from occurring.
Photos are courtesy of Bosch.
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